Two kinds of death are the subject here, and they are related in their fundamental means and ends.
The University of Delaware was recently caught flagrante delicto in an attempt to kill the selves of its seven thousand students. As the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) reported on its own site (and as reported on numerous other sites, but not much in the mainstream press, if at all), the University announced a campus-wide program of what I would call the nazification of its student body (“University of Delaware Requires Students to Undergo Ideological Reeducation,” October 30). (See “None Dare Call It Indoctrination” on The Dougout site, and “Indoctrinating Green Warriors” on this site.)
Others would call it brainwashing, or indoctrination. The North Vietnamese Communists “struggled” recalcitrant citizens until they not only submitted to the Party line, but actively promoted it, as well, as the sole mark of redemption. The University referred to the program as “treatment,” as though anyone passing through the school’s portals was ipso facto mentally ill and in need of getting “his mind straight” until he was certifiably politically corrected and converted into an activist robot (or, according to the mission statement, a “change agent”). Which meant being reduced to the mental and intellectual level of Winston Smith at the end of Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. Smith began by hating Big Brother, and ended by loving him, a state reached partly by torture and brutal persuasion by his tormenter, O’Brien, and partly by surrender.
While the O’Briens of the University of Delaware may omit the physical torture, the effect on morally and intellectually disarmed young persons can be the same.
“The Orwellian program,” reported FIRE, “requires the approximately 7,000 students in Delaware’s residence halls to adopt highly specific university-approved views on issues ranging from politics to race, sexuality, sociology, moral philosophy, and environmentalism. The Foundation….is calling for the total dismantling of the program, which is a flagrant violation of students’ rights to freedom of conscience and freedom from compelled speech.”
Since being exposed, the University of Delaware has suspended the program, but may try to revive it when its academic O’Briens think no one is looking. Every one of the issues students are expected to absorb and agree with is governed by anti-reason, anti-man, anti-individualist ideas.
“The university’s views,” reported FIRE, “are forced on students through a comprehensive manipulation of the residence hall environment, from mandatory training sessions to ‘sustainability’ door decorations. Students living in the university’s eight housing complexes are required to attend training sessions, floor meetings, and one-on-one meetings with their Resident Assistants (RAs).”
There is also the matter of the RAs wielding the power of extortion if their reports on students are included the students’ academic records. If a student knows that if he does not demonstrate that he is a “team player” or not voluble enough in his “diversification” training or puts an “offending” poster on his dorm door, he might find his grades lowered and his record compromised. But that is a minor issue compared with the evil that is imposed on him.
The major issue is that the program was specifically designed to obliterate the self (or ego) of the individual student, so that the student becomes a mindless cell of a pliable collective, committed to, among other things, reducing his “carbon footprint,” demonstrating for the “oppressed” group of the moment, and campaigning for a “sustainable world,” with no questions asked or permitted. If the O’Briens have done their job, questions would not even be possible in the victim.
That is one form of “honor killing,” that is, a major educational institution acting to enforce a pandemic of irrational, nihilistic ideas that it believes are “pro-life, pro-earth,” but which in fact are destructive of life, liberty and ultimately of one’s existence. One might, for argument’s sake, contend that the university officials who designed the program were ignorant of the consequences of the ideas they wish to enforce. The only valid response to that question would be counter-question: Then what are they doing running a university, if they are so ignorant and so foolishly hostile?
But the creatures who designed the “treatment” program at the University of Delaware were not the Three Stooges. They cannot plead ignorance or stupidity or foolishness. They intended to kill whatever surviving, crippled sense of self students brought with them to the university after enduring milder versions of such indoctrination in middle and high school, just as Ellsworth Toohey cultivated, exploited, and ultimately killed the precarious sense of self in Peter Keating in Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead.
“Just say that reason is limited,” says Toohey to Keating. “That there’s something above it. What? You don’t have to be too clear about it either. The field’s inexhaustible. ‘Instinct’ – ‘Feeling’ – ‘Revelation’ – ‘Divine Intuition’ – ‘Dialectic Materialism.’ [To which one might add today: ‘Community service’ – ‘Volunteerism’ – ‘Environmentalism’ – ‘Global society.’] If you get caught at some crucial point and somebody tells you that your doctrine doesn’t make sense – you’re ready for him. You tell him that there’s something above sense. That here he must not try to think, he must feel. He must believe. Suspend reason and you play it deuces wild. Anything goes in any manner you wish whenever you need it. You’ve got him. Can you rule a thinking man? We don’t want any thinking men.”
Neither, apparently, does the University of Delaware. If honor, as Rand defined it, is self-esteem made visible in action, then the university’s program was planned to dis-honor its students by killing their self-esteem and turning them into compliant ciphers, ready to submit to any “higher cause” and prepared, as a way of life, to wage war on those who do not submit. It would never occur to such students that there is no honor in selflessness. Such a conclusion would require thought.
There is an eerie similarity between the means and ends of the University of Delaware’s “reeducation” program and what happens to anyone who violates the “community” standards in the Mideast. The Sunday Times (London) of November 4th carried a horrendous story, “’Honour’ killings grow as girl, 17, stoned to death.” And the “moral” barbarity the article describes is essentially what the nihilists in the West wish to reduce everyone to.
The “honor” killings are centered on the violation of Islamic social mores (one can hardly call them a philosophy, they are so concrete bound) when an unmarried woman develops a real or imagined relationship with a man not approved by his family or tribe. “According to the human rights ministry in northern Iraq, 598 women have been burnt, beaten, shot, strangled, thrown from tall buildings, force-fed with lethal drugs, crushed by vehicles, drowned, decapitated, or made to kill themselves so far this year, exceeding the 553 recorded for the whole of 2006.”
In this instance, Du’aa, a 17-year-old girl, member of a bizarre non-Muslim sect, the Yazidi (a creed composed of elements from Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and minor faiths and as old as Islam itself) was found together with her 19-year-old Sunni Muslim boyfriend. Muslims are forbidden to marry outside Islam, but the pair were determined to be married.
“They were not lovers, though some in the crowd suspected they were. But Du’aa was a member of the Yazidi sect, which teaches that the Earth is in the care of seven angels. Yazidis are regarded as devil-worshippers by many Muslims and Muhannad is a Sunni Muslim.”
It did not help that the Yazidis believe that Allah or God does not govern the earth, but is “uninvolved,” leaving the governance to seven angels lead by a repentant Satan himself. Those and other beliefs of the Yazidis are abhorrent to Muslims. But the Yazidis share the same foolish notion of “honor” as the Muslims. When a local Yazidi sheik surrendered her to the mob for punishment, Du’aa was taken to the marketplace, “in a headlock, wailing and screaming as armed police watched in silence,” and stoned to death. The deathblow was delivered by a cousin, who smashed her head with a piece of concrete, purportedly as an act of mercy. Several other of her cousins also participated in the stoning.
The Times article relates that “one of the most shocking things about Du’aa’s death, however, is that although stoning is rare, honour killing is rampant, particularly in Kurdish areas of Iraq and Iran. Kurdish women are killed almost every day for ‘dishonouring’ their families.”
The “self-esteem” of such barbarians – dependent on what family members and neighbors think of them, measured by primitive concepts that form an irrational, eclectic moral code – is linked to preserving some collectivist sense of “honor.” An unmarried woman seen alone with a man not her relative automatically commits a “sin,” which “sin” must be blotted out by blotting out her life. Her family’s “honor” is thus restored.
Incidentally, it is this kind of culture which University of Delaware students would have been expected to withhold judgment of in the name of “diversity.” “Silence is consent,” states the school’s agenda for lobotomizing its white students in regards to racism. But that statement is meant to be a double-edged sword; “silence” on the subject of Kurdish honor killings can be taken as approval, and earn high marks from a student’s RA.
This is the rule in all Islamic countries, one which Islamic activists are quietly campaigning to introduce and have gain “respect” and acceptance in secular Western nations, notably Europe.
It is this kind of non-thinking tribal mentality which programs such as the University of Delaware’s seek to inculcate in Western students. In such graduates, it would be but a short step from “honor harassment” of smokers, non-recyclers, and others who refrain from joining the “community” or submitting to its standards, to literal honor killings in the role of “change agents.”
We see a form of this kind of violence in the attacks on abortion clinics and in the destruction of private property by environmentalists. Skeptics of anthropogenic global warming have been fired, harassed, and threatened with violence or the ruin of their careers by the enforcers of belief in the theory.
I make no distinction between the murder of Du’aa committed by her cousins and the murder of the egos of any student at the University of Delaware or in any other educational venue, be it kindergarten, grade, middle and secondary schools, or college. The head-bashing concrete can take either form, with the only difference in result being immediate or prolonged death.